3.23.2017 Day in History

main_solstices_equinoxesToday, the third day of Spring this year, is World Meteorological Day; in England four and three quarters century ago, plus one year, the last monastery to give in to Henry VIII’s rule, at Waltham Abbey, culminated the rise of the Church of England vis-à-vis Roman Catholicism; two hundred nine years thereafter, in 1749, a male infant came into the world who would grow up as statistical innovator and astronomer by the name of Pierre La Place; eight years hence, in 1757, English naval and army forces captured the city of Chandannagar from the French in West Bengal, laying the basis for the commercial ascendancy of Calcutta and the general consolidation of British rule of the Subcontinent; twenty-six years onward in space and time, in 1775, Patrick Henry intoned before his legislative cohorts in Virginia, “Give me liberty or give me death;” just beyond three decades subsequent to that, in 1806, having traversed the continent and arrived at the Pacific in its exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, Louis and Clark’s expedition began its return to the East; a decade and a half subsequently, in 1821, Kalamata fell to nationalist forces in Greece’s War for Independence against Ottoman rule; one hundred seventy-eight years ago, the term OK entered the national vernacular;  four years past that point, in 1843, the monumentally gifted French storyteller Stendhal breathed his last; a hundred sixty years back, the world’s inaugural Otis Elevator first offered visitors a ‘lift’ at 488 Broadway in Manhattan; eleven years more in the direction of today, in 1868, California established its State University system with a campus near Oakland, now Berkeley; another eleven years later, in 1879, Chilean troops in llama chile andesthe country’s war to claim mineral-rich Northern lands from Bolivia stormed and won the town of Topater; seven hundred thirty-one days further on, in 1881, a baby boy was born who would rise from wealthy Catholic roots to write novels of France as Roger Martin du Gard, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1937; four years after that, in 1885, Chinese forces won a victory in the Sino-French War near Hung Hoa in the Northern reaches of Vietnam; another couple of years more proximate to the present, in 1887, a baby boy took his first independent breath in Lithuania on his way to life as the worker and U.S. labor leader Sidney Hillman; thirteen further years along the temporal arc, in 1900, the male child uttered an initial cry en route to a life as psychoanalyst and thinker about the human condition, Eric Fromm; a year afterward, in 1901, half a world away in the Philippines, U.S. interlopers demonstrated their imperial agenda in capturing Emilio Aguinaldo, the President of the newly proclaimed Republic and yet not apropos for U.S. plans for its newly conquered, or ‘liberated,’ territory; seven years closer still to this point in time, in 1908, several thousand miles to the Northeast, Korean nationalists and opponents to Japanese butchery slew U.S. diplomat Dunbar Stevens, who was a big backer of Japanese hegemony on the Korean Peninsula; two years closer to today, in 1910, one storyteller with pictures died in France, Gaspar Tournachon, better known as Nadar, and, half-a-world away, in Japan, a baby boy gave his first cry on the way to a film movie theaterlifetime of filmmaking and screenwriting as Akira Kurosawa, and the baby boy destined to become Nadar, French photographer, caricaturist, novelist, and balloonist, uttered his first cry; eight further years on the way to today, in 1918, trials began in Chicago against more than a hundred ‘Wobblies’ for the ‘crime’ of speaking against World War One involvement by the ‘bastion of free speech’ that was about to imprison them for talking; three hundred sixty-five days down the pike, in 1919, in Italy, Benito Mussolini and cohorts founded the modern fascist movement; thirteen years henceforth, in 1932, a decidedly different development took place back in North America as Congress passed the Norris-La Guardia Act that limited injunctions against labor and boosted the rights of unions; another year after, in 1933, back in Europe, the German Reichstag passed the legislation which effectively gave Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers; seven years nearer to now, in 1940, activists in what is now Pakistan passed the Lahore Resolution, calling for the creation of Islamic majority states to the West and East of the British-run Subcontinent; two years yet later on, in 1942, a baby boy came squalling into the world in Guyana, a working class child, who would go on to lead his country and present a credible plan for decolonization and solidarity as Walter Rodney; seven years farther guitar music art performancealong time’s path, in 1949, a male infant called out en route to a life as the crooner and lyricist, Ric Ocasek; four years even closer to the current context, in 1953, another child entered the world in standard fashion who would mature as the rocker and writer, Chakha Khan;  three additional years en route to the here and now, in 1956, Pakistan became the first Islamic Republic on our fair orb; thirteen years after that, in 1969, Jim Morrison’s actions spawned a rally for decency;  forty-three years in advance of our present light and air, several thousand delegates in Chicago formed the Coalition of Labor Union Women; three years more proximate to the present pass, in 1977, England’s David Frost began the interviews of Richard Nixon that were to define his career; two years later, in 1979, two men were sentenced for the murder of Orlando Letelier, in spite of the fact that it was a right-wing government hit;  one years later, in 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero gave the speech that sealed his fate at an assassin’s hands, calling on El Salvador’s soldiers no longer to murder and brutalize their fellow citizens; seven hundred thirty days thereafter, in 1982 in neighboring Guatemala, Efrain Rios-Montt oversaw a brutal coup of a democratically elected government en route to further slaughter of his countrymen for the crime of wanting improved social conditions; just another year down the pike, in 1983, Ronald Reagan signed the Strategic Defense Initiative, amplifying further the nuclear arms race and moving humankind closer to annihilation; a decade after that, to the day, in 1993, the stalwart libertarian thinker and economist, Friederich Hayek, took one final breath; a dozen years hence, in 2005, what investigators soon termed a culture of impunity in regard to safety caused a lethal explosion at the British Petroleum oil refiner in Texas City, sending fifteen workers to early graves and injuring almost two hundred other employees.